"UCL seeks to embody the principles of education for global citizenship across the full range of its teaching activity."

Teaching and Learning Strategy 2010-15

Gillian Lacey-Solymar gives feedback to students

Assessment for learning

The notion of cultural intelligences is useful in informing the planning of the assessment of the internationalised curriculum. The development and application of this type of intelligence increases ’the capacity of individuals to adapt to different people from diverse cultures and the ability to manage this interconnectedness harmoniously and productively’ (Earley, Ang, & Tan, 2006). The internationalisation of the curriculum involves much more than adapting to diverse cultures, as is evident from these webpages, but this is a helpful starting point. UCL’s diverse community provides us with an excellent springboard for the type of learning and assessment activities outlined below.

Specific institutional and disciplinary contexts

Assessment is a highly-developed and prioritised aspect of UCL’s teaching and learning environments. Within UCL, departments have their own approaches to assessing student learning and providing feedback on student work to enable students to gain insight into how they can develop their work. Information on the overarching frameworks and background documents is available in section 9 of the Moodle Assessment and Feedback pages.

Assessment and Feedback

Assessment, both to provide feedback to students and for purposes of certification, has a strong influence on the way learners tackle the activities which teachers design to promote the acquisition of knowledge and skills. The goal is to create an environment which supports student development far beyond the simple ’banking’ model of increasing factual knowledge. The imaginative and innovative assessment of the internationalised curriculum has the potential to lead to transformative learning, a process whereby learning changes learners. The perspective of UCL students on the world and their place in it will evolve. Their ability to consider the global consequences of their decisions and contribute to sustainable development will also improve. For further information and resources, visit the assessment section of this  website.

Aims and learning outcomes: choices provided for students

These two topics are combined because it is motivating to provide a choice of aims and learning outcomes and ways of achieving them. If the capacity to adapt to different cultures is to be developed during a module, it is advisable to state this as a learning outcome. Teaching and learning activities are designed to achieve this stated outcome and they are also assessed. At UCL, topics as diverse as ’interethnic marriage decisions’ (Economics) and ’knowledge across cultures in the building industry’ (Bartlett) will help students from diverse backgrounds to gain insights linked to their subject as a first step to developing readiness to adapt and contribute to diverse cultures.

Where the internationalised curriculum is concerned, enquiry-based learning is often a helpful approach. Students find their own sources and/or resources, an important skill in fast-changing global academic and professional environments.

An example: assessing the internationalised curriculum

Students select a region which they do not know or adopt a specific regional or national perspective for the focus of their work. They are assessed not only on the content and presentation of the subsequent spoken or written work, but also on their ability to explain and justify their choice. They will also be assessed on the demonstration of insight into the perspective of the region they have selected. Reflection will be required for this, promoting a profound approach to the task and enabling higher order learning to take place. Students will also be required to immerse themselves into the perspectives of a culture which is not their own.

Learning outcome:

On completion of this module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • describe how cultural diversity might shape their work in relation to [relevant module topic] in [chosen nation or region] (for professional degrees such as architecture or engineering)
  • OR analyse the perspective of [chosen nation or region] regarding [module topic] (for other subjects)
Learning activity:

Students work individually or in small groups. They identify a region relevant to their topic and ensure that they can justify their choice. They prepare a written or spoken piece of work on the topic (essay, presentation, or electronic portfolio using images and sound, film, a collection of postings on Moodle, a short webbook, etc).

Assessment task:

The product (written and/or spoken) is assessed according to a set of criteria which have been formulated in advance and discussed with students. Some teachers at UCL ask students to write their own assessment criteria together when practicable. Where several teachers work with parallel modules, the same criteria should be agreed and used across the cohort.

An example of assessment for learning:

Students produce posters on their work and present them to other students and teachers following the conventions of a conference in their discipline. The potential for learning from peers and creating a sense of community is an advantage of this type of assessment.

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Page last modified on 22 jul 11 16:54


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